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New for 2018: State Farm Arena

State Farm Arena rendering

A major venue naming-rights change has taken place in the NBA, as the Atlanta Hawks have announced the renaming of Philips Arena to State Farm Arena

First opening in 1999, the downtown Atlanta facility had been known as Philips Arena throughout its history. Though it is undergoing a major renovation that ensures its long-term future, Philips is not renewing its original 20-year commitment for the arena’s name.

That allowed the Hawks to pursue a new naming-rights partner, which was revealed on Wednesday to be Illinois-based insurance company State Farm. The Hawks and State Farm have to agreed a reported 20-year, $175 million naming-rights agreement (first reported by Channel 2 Action News) for State Farm Arena. More from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:

Officials from the basketball team and the insurance giant — which has a growing footprint in the Atlanta area — announced their new 20-year, $175 million naming rights deal with much pomp and circumstance on Wednesday.

That makes it one of the most expensive arena naming rights deals in professional basketball….

The team and Philips, a consumer electronics company, signed a 20-year, $185 million deal before the arena opened in 1999. It was among the largest naming rights deals in U.S. sports at the time. But Philips largely abandoned its consumer-focused business efforts in 2013 and has transitioned to a health technology and lighting company.

The timing in this case is very notable. State Farm Arena has been undergoing a $192.5 million, multi-phase renovation. The final round of upgrades from that project are taking shape now, and are scheduled to be completed in time for the 2018-19 NBA season. A public open house party is scheduled to take place at State Farm Arena on October 20, with the Hawks’ home opener set for October 24.

“We are honored to work with State Farm, one of the nation’s most recognizable and civic-minded organizations and want to thank Michael Tipsord and Rand Harbert for their leadership and commitment to this exceptional collaboration,” Hakws Principal Owner Tony Ressler said in a press statement. “Our ownership group considers the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club a community asset, and we are excited to have found a partner that shares our vision and has committed to working with us to expand on the community engagement and philanthropic initiatives we do that benefit the many communities that make up this great metropolitan area. Generations will be positively impacted by the work we do throughout Georgia, and we could not be prouder to have the State Farm name on our new arena.”

“This decision symbolizes our pledge to making a difference in communities, building our brand locally and nationally, and ultimately growing State Farm,” sState Farm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Tipsord said in a press statement. “The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club is well known for giving back in this community. Along with our Neighborhood of Good initiative, we’ll have new opportunities to invest in the local community.”

Rendering courtesy Atlanta Hawks.

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